Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the purpose and difference of bookkeeping and accounting?
  • The purpose for both is keeping track of your company's income and how it spends that money. Bookkeeping is the day-to-day record keeping such as managing the receiving and payment of bills, managing the sales and receiving of payment from customers, and payroll processing. Accounting is the next step after bookkeeping. It starts where bookkeeping left off: Reviewing the bookkeeping processing, completing bank reconciliation, credit card reconciliation, completing payroll tax returns, sales tax returns, property tax returns (571-L), and compiling the periodic financial reports that summarize all of the record-keeping data.
  • What are a professional bookkeeper and accountant?
  • A professional bookkeeper provides an out-sourced bookkeeping service to companies that cannot afford to have an in-house bookkeeper on their payroll, or do not have the volume to justify a dedicated staff member to perform the bookkeeping tasks. The professional bookkeeper comes into the client's office on a pre-determined basis to open the mail, keep track of the bills (Accounts Payable), prepare bills for payment and mailing, oversees the processing of payroll (handled by a third party such as Payday, or Paychex), enters invoices to customers, receives payments from customers, and enters sundry bank activity such as wires, bank charges, debit activity.

    A professional accountant (non-CPA) provides accounting services to companies that do not need to pay a CPA for accounting issues un-related to income tax preparation. The professional accountant comes into the client's office (or remotely handles the work) on a monthly, quarterly, or other pre-determined basis to review the bookkeeper's work, complete bank and credit card reconciliations, complete sales, property, payroll tax returns when necessary, and compile financial statements to review with client.

    Both the bookkeeping and accounting can be handled from Business-keepers’s office if the client wants a “hands-off” approach to their accounting duties. The location of where the work is performed depends solely on the client’s preference.

    Either way, whether in-house or from our office, you don’t have to spend your valuable time handling your own bookkeeping and accounting duties. Instead we encourage our clients to focus their time on other things such as sales or spending the day doing leisure things; we call this, Katch the Day. We like to say, Katch the Day and leave your business-keeping to us!
  • What questions should I ask when hiring a professional bookkeeper and/or accountant (non-cpa)?
  • Due to the intrinsic nature of bookkeeping and accounting services, Business-keepers Consulting recommends interviewing your potential bookkeeping and/or accounting services using the following questions.

    The questions are in bold and our answers are below each question.

    1) What is your educational background?
    Our staff and/or associates hold Bachelors of Arts Degrees in accounting, linguistics, and education.

    2) What is your professional experience?
    We have over 20 years experience in accounting, eight of those years are working CPA firms in Orange County, California. Cheryl holds a teaching credential, Bonnie is studying for the CPA exam, and April is a Certified Quickbooks Pro Advisor.

    3) What organization do you belong to?
    Business-keepers is a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) , Sleeter Group Consultants Network, Costa Mesa Networkers (CM Chamber of Commerce), and Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce.

    4) What type of accounting systems do you use?
    Business-keepers uses the popular accounting software, Quickbooks Pro. We adhere to the standards of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

    5) Do you have a contract?
    Yes, we have a Retainer Agreement that clearly spells out our terms, conditions, and our confidentiality agreement.

    6) Do you have references?
    Yes. We work with tax consultants and attorneys who will gladly furnish a reference upon request.

    7) Are you a full-time, full-service bookkeeping and accounting firm?
    Yes. We provide services from opening your mail all the way through financial statements. However, we are not a certified public accounting firm, nor do we do income tax returns. We refer that work out to our trusted tax consultants.

    8) When did you start your company?
    2002. Prior to that April Gentry had another firm, Gentry and Associates which was founded in 1997 and handled the same kind of accounting services for various clients. She merged that business into Business-keepers Consulting in 2002.
  • How long will I need a professional bookkeeper and/or accountant?
  • Bookkeeping and accounting is an ongoing, integral part of your business. Whether you hire Business-keepers or bring someone in-house on your payroll, it is important that the work be maintained to provide you with intrinsic reports to better serve your company's financial goals.
  • What if I want to do the record-keeping myself?
  • Business-keepers sets up and trains clients on Quickbooks Pro, allowing the owner/staff to maintain the accounting themselves in the software. We recommend that we "check-in" on your Quickbooks file to make sure things are being entered consistently and accurately so there are no surprises at year end.
  • My records are a mess and I'm embarrassed for anyone to see the paper mounds let alone organize them. Where do I start?
  • Start by calling us. We can organize your records, set you up on Quickbooks Pro and get your accounting up and running. Do not be ashamed of paperwork. We love paper!
  • How far does Business-keepers travel?
  • We travel everywhere. We do charge for our driving time and if it requires a long distance, flight and overnight arrangements will also be covered by the client. We don't want miles to get in the way of accounting progress.
  • What sets you apart from your competition?
  • Business-keepers has a strong, solid foundation in GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) as well as Quickbooks Pro software knowledge (Certified Quickbooks Pro Advisor) which allows us to handled any kind of bookkeeping or accounting issue (non-income tax related). Therefore we do not require any “hand-holding” by the client; we are able to jump right in, find out what needs to be done with proper assessment, then roll up our sleeves and complete the work efficiently.
  • Why would we use an accounting service for our HOA?
  • Because accounting is a time consuming process and HOA boards members are busy with their own lives. Our accounting services will provide accurate handling of your bills, dues collections, and financial reporting obligations in a timely manner. All this while you are at your regular job or off on a vacation.